With the rise of microdistilleries, it was only a matter time until we saw on-site eateries featuring the unique flavors and personality of the artisanal distillery. St. Louis’ Square One Brewery and Distillery has a food menu that includes lots of food and spirit pairing suggestions. Flavor infused spirits complement the food. Spirits are also offered in tasting flights, including flights in two portion sizes. Differing portion sizes encourages customers to explore new products and the adventure of artisanal small batch beverages.
Other distillery pubs include the Bardenay Restaurant and Distillery in Boise, Idaho, and Dogfish Head Brewing and Eats in Rehoboth, Delaware. Some of these brewery-distillery manufacturers and pubs offer a line of on site produced beers and spirits.
New York laws make it difficult to manufacture more than one alcohol variety at a single plant. Even with “alternating premises,” the laws in New York do not favor a mixed distillery-brewery, and especially not one that is also a brew-pub. Recent changes in federal and state laws to ease some of the restrictive regulations and tax burdens show that this industry plays an increasingly significant role in the state’s economy. As the large companies like Kodak, Xerox and Bausch & Lomb continue to diminish their footprint on the state’s economic base, these small beverage manufacturing businesses not only provide jobs, but they also create important synergies with the agricultural and tourism industries in New York. As more New York artisanal beverage manufacturers want to spread their wings into new product ventures, I expect we will see laws that allow these hybrid manufacturing operations.